Rumah Ulu South Sumatran – Traditional houses are not merely cultural heritage in the form of materials which are arranged in the form of building elements. More than its physical appearance, traditional houses have an important role in shaping social and symbolic spaces, as well as cultural representation for its inhabitants. Indonesia as a unitary state that is rich in culture has so many traditional heritage houses, one of which is the ulu house in South Sumatra.

Rumah Ulu is a traditional community house that lives in the upstream area of ​​the Musi River, South Sumatra. The name ulu house is derived from the word uluan which means rural, uluan is also a term for people who live in the upper reaches of the Musi River. All parts of the ulu house are made of wood, with the bottom supported by unglen tree trunks. Selection of unglen tree trunk is not without reason, the trunk of this tree is believed to last for hundreds of years.

Ulu house construction must follow a number of agreed rules, such as, for example, the construction must face the front of the water flow line. This is intended so that houses built can be free from flash floods that can come at any time. In addition, the construction of the ulu house must also follow the ulu-ulak (ilir) system, i.e. if the land to be built is still large and plans to build the next ulu house, then the housing construction must be carried out from the most upstream part.

Ulu-ulak (ilir) system is not just a regulation of housing construction, but also a social arrangement of space. The house in the ulu section is for those who have an older age in the family line, and so on down to the most downstream house occupied by the youngest offspring. This system also applies in the division of space in the house.

In general, the ulu house is divided into three parts namely, the front room, the living room, and the back room. The three parts are divided into several parts, such as fierce or hand-rolled, bow and foot, room for the building or ambin, and the kitchen room. Garang or lintut is a room that is used as a place to chat with homeowners, which is usually done every afternoon after doing work routines.

While bow and kakudan is a special room that is used as a place of rest. The bow is for men, while the kakudan is for women. In another part there is a gedongan or ambin, this room is located in the middle of the ulu house which has a higher floor than the rest. This place is used by people who are considered the oldest in the house to give advice to children and grandchildren, the advice can also be in the form of fairy tales before going to sleep.

Along with the times, ulu houses are increasingly rarely found. However, one form of this traditional house can still be found in the backyard of the Balaputera Dewa Museum, and is one of the museum’s largest collections. According to museum records, the ulu house is 200 years old and was taken from Asemkelat Village, Pangandonan District, Ogan Komering Ilir Regency.

Maintaining and preserving the ulu house does not mean that every society today must build the ulu house as a place to live, but rather to preserve the philosophical values ​​contained in the traditional house. Considering that in the ulu house there are valuable values ​​such as respecting older people, loving younger people, and building a harmonious family.

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